Two Poems by David Ishaya Osu

World War

to Mum, radios
are liars: to
Dad, the world
is not meant to be
in a map
nor in the kind of Mum’s handbag

—my family is
the first and the last
world war­—

I was a yolk
too innocent
to sit
on a frying pan
or to become
a name without shell.

I was alive when it all happened
when all that Mum had
was this book—not a bible; my
body is my holy book, she
would say.



yesterday like
a river timing
songs, for an aril
—she has reached
the end of her body
is full of monsoon—we
say, ripe plum is
a new language


David Ishaya Osu
David Ishaya Osu

David Ishaya Osu (b. 1991) is an Afo native from Onda. His poetry appears in: Eureka Street, Atlas Poetica: A Journal of World Tanka, Birmingham Arts Journal, Vinyl Poetry, Chiron Review, RædLeaf Poetry: The African Diaspora Folio, A Thousand Voices Rising: An Anthology of Contemporary African Poetry, among others. David is a board member of the Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation, and has been selected for the 2016 USA Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop. He is poetry editory for The James Franco Review, issue 7. David believes in water, rainbow, moon, and underwears.

One comment

  1. David I really like these–the idea of her body as her only book, her holy book–mothers KNOW. And I was reading second poem also as mother–the end of the body full of monsoons, water rich, ripe plum, new language. Very beautiful and evocative!


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